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Health insurance may not cover the services we want, and high deductibles may pose a financial challenge in maintaining comprehensive health care, so we need a personal wellness plan.

that the foundation of the team be a licensed medical professional such as an integrative physician (MD), osteopathic doctor (DO) or chiropractor (DC). In most states, any of these professionals can function as a primary care doctor, authorized to order and read laboratory tests, prescribe drugs and access hospital services. In some states, a naturopathic physician (ND) can perform the func- tions of a primary care doctor in ordering and reading laboratory tests.

As part of a personal wellness team, consider a functional medicine or inte- grative physician, chiropractor, osteo- path, doctor of naturopathy, ayurvedic practitioner, nutritionist, Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor/acupunctur- ist, herbalist, craniosacral therapist, massage therapist and energy practitio- ner (such as in Reiki, medical qigong or polarity therapy).

It’s not necessary to see all of them,

sources say. Sometimes, one practitio- ner will be skilled in practicing several modalities, a bonus for patients. Other complementary practitioners may form a supporting team that works with the primary care team, depending on the challenges a patient faces. They will be identified as treatment unfolds and the team evolves over time.

Contributing Specialists An ayurvedic practitioner likely will begin by helping to define healthful life- style changes, depending on one’s do- sha, or energetic temperament. Yoga and meditation would be a likely recommen- dation, plus specific herbs and perhaps detoxification, says Annambhotla. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture often go hand-in hand with Ayurveda in accordance with the view that illness and disease are caused by imbalances in the body’s energetic flow. Diagnostic techniques employ intuition and pulses to assess and smooth blocks in energy circulation.

Craniosacral therapy is another way to unlock energetic blockages caused

by lifestyle stress and other factors that restrict and congest the body’s innate ability to self-correct and remain healthy, says Joyce Harader, a registered cranio- sacral therapist in Cave Creek, Arizona, and secretary of the board of the Biody- namic Cranial Sacral Therapy Associa- tion of North America.

She relied on a whole team to real- ize a natural way back to health after being diagnosed with lupus in 1992. “Members of my health team fluctuate, depending on what is going on in my life and where I am focusing,” comments Harader. She points out, for example, that nutrition education and general deep-tissue massage can both be helpful as part of a foundational plan toward ob- taining and maintaining optimal health. In fact, many of our experts recom- mend both a monthly chiropractic ad- justment and/or massage, as well as daily yoga and an ongoing meditation practice for wellness and total well-being. Naturopathic practitioners operating in states where they are licensed can be good sources of nutrition counsel and often recommend herbal remedies for relief. “For chronic illness, you need a chiropractor or drug-free physician like a naturopath on your team. Conventional medicine is generally poor at dealing with chronic illness,” observes Naturo- path and Chiropractor Michael Loquas- to, Ph.D., who practices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Loquasto should know. He has practiced integrated modalities for 50 years, employing the knowledge gained through his practice and triple doctor- ates, which include one in nutrition. Also a master herbalist, he strongly advocates that people start by working with a good integrative or functional medicine medi- cal doctor.

“In some states, like Pennsylvania, chiropractors and osteopaths can perform routine diagnostic work, but in many states they cannot,” he notes. “I recommend undergoing a physical every six months and regular bone density





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